Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Working with Education

Today the horticulture staff was able to work with an education camp called "Behind the Scenes." The 16, 6th through 8th grade students or campers have the opportunity to work with the horticulture staff on 4 different projects.

The first project was releasing beneficial insects in the Fern Room. In this case, they released lady bugs. The campers get a dixie cup full of ladybugs and are directed around the room and informed where they can release the ladybugs. We are pretty sure this is their favorite of the 4 projects.

The second project was potting up papaya, that were started from seed and also, potting up an experimental cordyline, which is considered a grass-like tropical, from the original six packs into 4 1/2" pots.

The third project is washing pots. This consists of a big tub of water and disinfectant soap. Since we recycle our bigger pots at Como we need to wash, dry and store them to be used again. The campers felt like they were washing dishes but since everyone was a little wet we think they had a good time playing in the water!

Last but not least, they got to come out on zoo grounds and help horticulture staff beautify a island of trees right across from the Gorilla Exhibit. This consisted of cutting back some daylilies, raking around them, picking up bigger sticks from the evergreens, and then mulching the bare areas. They realized that it was hard work but some thought they could go home and help their families in the garden now! We appreciate their hard work, although some tasks or projects are not that fun, we believe they still had a good experience when they were finished.